The Alaska State Department of Natural Resources is rescinding the emergency burn closure for campfires on Thursday, citing a decrease in fire danger from recent rain showers.
According to a press release, “recent widespread rains have moderated fire activity and brought temporary relief to drought-stricken areas” since the emergency suspension was issued on July 2. Before now, the state had experienced ongoing dry conditions and warmer weather.
The department stated in the release that although the emergency burn closure will be lifted, local, state, Native and federal agencies may continue to restrict fires in areas under their jurisdictions. These include burn suspensions, which restrict debris pile fires. Thursday’s burn closure will be lifted at 9 a.m. Friday.
As of Wednesday morning, there were 264 active fires in Alaska, with 17 individual burns and six complexes staffed with over 1,300 personnel. Howie Kent, the area fire management officer, said even with the recent rain showers conditions are still drier than in the 2019 season, when the Swan Lake Fire ravaged the peninsula.
For more information visit the burn permit webpage at https://dnr.alaska.gov/burn/fireareas.
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that a burn suspension was lifted. It has been updated to accurately state that the burn closure is lifted, and that this season is drier than in 2019.
Reach reporter Camille Botello at firstname.lastname@example.org.